The Third Peacekeeping Ministerial Preparatory Meeting on Women, Peace and Security took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 28-29 January 2019. Co-hosted by the Governments of Canada and Ethiopia, this preparatory meeting was held just before a Member States’ meeting that will convene at the UN Headquarters in New York, in March 2019.
The President of the Ethiopia, H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde, in her official opening remarks stated that while peacekeeping is seen as a ‘male domain’, this needs to change through ensuring women’s equal participation. She added that Ethiopia is committed to supporting the UN Secretary-General’s Gender Parity strategy.
Ms. Hanna Tetteh, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General speaking at the event also highlighted the roles that women play in peacekeeping underscoring that ‘as seen in countless situations, more women in peacekeeping simply means more effective peacekeeping’. Moreover, SRSG Tetteh highlighted the UN’s efforts towards supporting uniformed female personnel in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2242 (2015) which seeks to double the number of women in military and police contingents in peacekeeping operations by 2020. She called on all Member States to support this initiative stressing that its success will depend on working collaboratively together.
Similarly, the State Minister of Defense of Ethiopia, Ambassador Lelaalem Gebreyohannes touched on the current geographic span of UN peace operations, the bulk of which are in Africa, and underscored that ‘we have a major stake in strengthening the role of women in peacekeeping in our quest to promote and protect women and girls’ human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in fragile, conflict, and post-conflict settings.
Over 100 participants attended this meeting which is expected to put forward pledges that will be announced in the March meeting.